Stark Exterminators Blog

stark_ckc_fb.jpg

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Curbing Kitchen Critters

Kitchens are the center of our homes — the place where we prepare food for those we love most. That’s why common pests like ants, pantry moths and drain flies can be so disconcerting. No one wants moths in their morning loops or ants in their cantaloupe.

But never fear, Arrow is here with some tips on purging these pesky kitchen critters. Start sharpening your knives, because we’ve got the scoop on how they invade, why they thrive and what you can do to prevent them. Bug appétit!

Pantry Moths

It’s an all too common and all too horrible scene. You open your pantry, searching for your favorite crackers, when a gust of wings flies straight at your face. Yep, you’ve got pantry moths.

How They Invade

Known as Indian meal moths in the early stages, the eggs of these little critters stow away in a variety of foodstuffs, including grains, cereals, flour, meal, pasta, candy, nuts, dried herbs and even pet food.

How to Spot ’Em

Though the eggs are often too small to see, you’ll notice them once they hatch and your favorite box of breakfast loops starts moving. Ringed and yellowish-white in color, pantry moth worms are less than an inch long and have brownish heads.

If they’ve gone rogue and escaped your grains, you can find them hanging from dark corners near walls, especially on the ceiling. Once they hatch, these busy buggers are about a half-inch long, with brown wings and bodies. Nighttime is when they like to party, so it’s not uncommon to spot them on your way to a midnight snack.

How to Prevent ’Em

Unfortunately, it can take up to six months to say sayonara to these pantry pests, but you can avoid the problem in the future by buying smaller amounts of grain and storing such products in airtight, bug-proof containers. You can also outfit your pantry with moth-repelling bay leaves, and if you have some extra space in your fridge, keep your unused grains in cold storage.

Drain Flies

These fuzzy critters are so small, you may only notice them when they’re moving — unless, of course, you’re a cat. Just an eighth of an inch long, drain flies are known by other delectable names like “moth flies,” “sewer flies” and “filter flies.”

How They Invade

As their name suggests, these buggers like water — drains, puddles, grease pits, drains and even septic tanks. And don’t blame yourself, drain flies actually breed in the sewer system and come up to your kitchen for air — and food!

How to Spot ’Em

Though they rarely sit still long enough to notice, these flies are covered in tiny hairs and feature long antennae and unique wing patterns. When crushed, they turn to powder.

Drain flies also rock exponential growth. With life cycles ranging from a week to two weeks, these fliers can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, which hatch in less than 48 hours. Yikes!

But contrary to their name, drain flies are actually poor fliers. It’s not uncommon to see them flying in jerky lines, running into walls and stopping every few feet.

How to Prevent ’Em

Drain flies live off of the bits of food debris that form around the edges of drains. That’s why it’s important to scrape the sides and keep your drains squeaky clean.

House Ants

These domestic buggers sound harmless enough, but they’re certainly not a pest you want hanging around your kitchen.

How They Invade

The term “house ant” is shorthand for a range of ant species, including little black ants, Argentine and Odorous ants. These bite-sized creatures specialize in finding hidden passageways into your inner sanctum. And no, we’re not talking about cool, Game of Thrones thoroughfares — ants travel the almost imperceptible cracks in your windows, doorways and even floors.

These antsy invaders feast on the microscopic morsels that land on your kitchen counter, but they’re also looking for a steady water supply for the colony.

How to Spot ’Em

Black or red, big or small, if you spot one ant, chances are there are hundreds. These clever, six-legged beasts lead other ants to your kitchen counters through a trail of pheromones. Until you wipe out the queen, her colony will keep sending soldiers to the front lines of your kitchen sink.

How to Prevent ’Em

Smushing individual ants is akin to performing a ceaseless game of whack-a-mole. That’s why you have to identify the ant version of Main Street before they do. Look for cracks in the floor, holes in cabinets or torn window screens, and seal them up before any antsy invaders appear.

Keep your kitchen quarters ant-free by maintaining spotless counters free of food crumbs and standing water. If you give an ant a crumb, they’ll happily take a mile (a.k.a., your lunch).

No Free Lunches

If pests are unwelcome diners at your in-home restaurant, but you can’t seem to keep the creepy, crawly fliers away from the menu, Arrow is here to save dinnertime! Call the experts and we’ll get you back to bon appétit!